I confess it has been a long time since my last update. Please forgive me for not writing sooner.
God has been doing so much and the enemy is not happy.
We were able to find a house in Verdi Nevada, about 20 miles from the church office. We are renting a little house right across the street from the Truckee river. We actually can’t afford to live in Truckee. Since the COVID pandemic, many people from San Francisco, knowing they can now work from home, are escaping the big city and buying up all the properties in Truckee. The house costs have skyrocketed. A 1000 sq ft A-frame fixer upper with no garage will run for $550,000.
I have to confess, this is the first time I have ever taken over a church during a world wide pandemic. I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought when we got up here to Truckee we would have some time to get the lay of the land, to wade in the water a little, to get the feel of things before we were thrown into the thick of it. That actually wasn’t the case. I feel like I asked my dad if I could go swimming and he has thrown me into the deep end.
Because of the virus we had no place to meet, I wasn’t able to meet any of the people in the church for many months, so we just found a location and began to stream our studies.
We have had the privilege of meeting outside in one of the parks in town for the past month and a half, and it has been glorious. You can watch the teachings online if you like. Just go to YouTube and search for our channel, Calvary Chapel Truckee. Our Sunday morning teachings are there as well as our Thursday mid-week.
When we got here, the first thing I started was what we called an “Underground Prayer Meeting.” I called it that for two reasons. One because California said we couldn’t meet with more than 10 people at a time. It was intended to be a playful reminder that we take our marching orders from the Lord not the governor of California. We have tried to take every precaution we could and not expose anyone needlessly to a potential risk. We asked people who felt sick to stay home. For anyone who felt well, showed no signs of symptoms, and were comfortable meeting and praying together, they were invited. The second reason I called it “Underground Prayer” was to be a gentle reminder of our brothers and sisters around the world who are meeting in secret for fear of their governments.
When the COVID virus hit, before we took over the church officially, the interim pastor scrambled to find a place where we could eventually meet. He found a 2500 sq ft space for us at a complex called “The Rock.” The space gives us room for a sanctuary with about 8o seats in it and a small space for children’s ministry. The interim pastor also bought several small, 17.5 inch wide, chairs. During one of the meetings I had with the leadership, I mentioned the change in the weather that was coming that would force us out of the park. I mentioned my concern about the small space and the small chairs. Someone mentioned that the interim pastor said, “When the new pastor comes, there will be a natural downsizing of the church and it will be plenty large enough then.” I am very happy to report that God has been blessing and we have not decreased in size as a church, but we have been growing.
We have been praying and seeking the Lord about starting a Food Pantry. Surprisingly enough, there are many people living in this area of affluence who are in great need. God opened a door for us to partner with a church in Reno and coming this month, we hope to be supplying food to people and families in need. It’s very exciting to be able to engage in a work like this. It has been something that has been on my heart for the last few years.
June 22-July 1 2020, we are partnering with Calvary Chapel Saving Grace and taking our youth on a “Youth Apologetic Tour of Israel.” The basic vision is, we send our kids to school and they learn history. We send our kids to Sunday School and they learn Bible stories, as if they were not history. We are going to take our youth to Israel and immerse them in the facts, the truth and the historicity of the Bible. The target age group is 16-25, however kids younger than 16 can go with a parent. As of the date of this update, we have 15 kids and parents going on the trip.
Due to COVID, we have had to change what we are doing in South Asia. We have been unable to have classes the way we have had in the past. One of our colleges has been able to continue to meet, because they have just a handful of students. Our other colleges are recording teachings in the local languages and the students are able to listen to them during the day. We are all praying for the day when we can get back to raising up young men and women who are committed to taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who have never heard of the truth of God’s love. To people who, since the beginning of time, have been in bondage to false gods. Please continue to pray.
Finally, Tina and I are happy to report that the Lord has opened a door for us to buy a house. We have never owned a house before. The Lord has never allowed it, we assumed it was because we were always on the move. But it looks like the Lord is going to have us stick around for now and construction is going to be finished next April. It is also in Verdi, Nevada, just a stones throw from where we are living now. I can’t tell you how happy Tina is. Thank you, Lord.
- Please pray for Calvary Chapel Truckee. For continued growth, that we would be a light to the community, that the Lord would show us how to reach out to the community, for all the ministries (Women’s ministry, Men’s ministry, Young adults ministry, Youth ministry, Food pantry and the Underground Prayer.)
- Pray the Lord would bless the teaching of His word on Sunday’s and Thursday. That He would continue to draw people deeper into His word and in their walks with Him.
- Please pray for the work in South Asia, that God would continue to use us mightily. Please pray that I will be able to return soon to connect with the students. Pray that the Lord would keep those on the ground safe from anti-Christian groups seeking to persecute our workers. Pray that we would be able to resume our face to face classes and resume our internet teachings soon.
Please, please pray about visiting us. We’re so excited to show you what God is doing here in Truckee.
God bless you,
Gary and Tina